You're the Commentator


Monday, December 13, 2010


This is the final weekly portion of the book of Breisheet, the first of the five books of the Torah.  In it we reach the point in the story in which the entire family of the descendants of Yaakov (who is also known as Yisrael) have come to live in the land of Egypt, in the neighborhood of Goshen.

Why do you think they all stayed in the same neighborhood and didn't move in with the rest of the Egyptians who lived in other places in the country?

  • When you, or your parents, or your grandparents, or your great-grandparents came to live in the United States, did they expect to stay forever or did they plan to return to their country of birth?
  • Why did they come to the United States?
  • Once here, did they stay separate from other groups of people?  
  • Did they continue to speak the language of their former country, or did they immediately begin to speak English?  
  • Did they think of themselves as "Jews", as "Americans", or did they have some other identity?
  • How is the story of the family of Yaakov in Egypt the same as the story of your family in the United States?  How is it different?

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